A Willamette University student was the subject of a racially motivated hate crime the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 28, according to an email sent out by Vice President of Student Affairs Lisa Landreman on Mar 1. The attack happened on the corner of Capitol and Chemeketa St. Two individuals approached the student and yelled derogatory comments while pushing them. When the student fell to the ground, one suspect kicked them. The student is physically safe.
Landreman included descriptions of the two individuals, encouraging anyone with information to call Campus Safety at (503) 370-6911 or to contact the Salem Police Department at (503) 588-6123. The first individual’s description is, “Male who appeared to be White, 5’6 big build, long, curly blond hair and facial hair, wearing a gray V-neck shirt, black snow hat and something tied around his waist.” The second individual, ”Male who appeared to be White, 5’11”, thin build, long and thin brown hair, wearing a button-down shirt and a snow hat.”
Landreman acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge of violence, harassment and racist rhetoric towards Asian American and Pacific Islander persons. She encouraged the community to acknowledge and denounce these crimes. Landreman also acknowledged that there can be a traumatic impact left on the community by incidents like the one experienced by the student. She shared a list of resources in the email for on and off campus support, as well as educational material on hate crimes.